A show of confidence
SOME heavy hitters from the global car business are in Sydney this week. The worldwide chiefs of Mazda and Nissan have hit the harbourside city and so has the man who heads all safety development for MercedesBenz, Dr Ulrich Mellinghoff.
Phil Popham, the trump at Land Rover in Britain, is also Down Under.
What’s the occasion? It’s the first running of the Australian International Motor Show.
It has been totally re-created since the truce between the rival Melbourne and Sydney shows, and there is a plan to make it a global event alternating between the cities.
When it goes to Melbourne it will be in the middle of next year, allowing it breathing space on the international show calendar and helping to give it an Asia-Pacific focus.
The signs are good. Ford regards the show as a global event and has scheduled the worldwide unveiling of its new Ranger pickup for Sydney today. Mazda is doing the same with its BT-50.
There is all sorts of action at the show, from the first Australian appearance of the Lexus LF-A supercar to a couple of show specials from Mercedes-Benz. The Land Rover Evoque will be seen for the first time, there is a new model from Subaru and a potential future hero— still secret — on the Suzuki stand.
The show reflects more than shiny new cars and displays at Darling Harbour.
It’s a sign of the whole car business pulling together, the strength of the motor industry at when much of the global business— particularly in the US and Britain— is still struggling, and proof that people are still interested in cars.
We will have a full wrap on the show next week, with instant updates today at www.carsguide.com.au